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GAME RECAP: Smoke Eaters Winless Stretch At Five After 5-2 Loss To Spruce Kings

PHOTO: Mike Hockley


OCTOBER 26th, 2018

TRAIL, B.C. – The Trail Smoke Eaters saw their losing skid extended to five games as they fell to the Prince George Spruce Kings by a 5-2 score at the Trail Memorial Centre on Friday night.

Ben Brar was credited with a hat trick as the Spruce Kings didn’t give up much defensively as goals from Kent Johnson and Bryce Anderson were not enough with the Smoke Eaters seeing their losing skid hit five games with a 5-2 setback to Prince George.

The Spruce Kings came out of the gate with a great start and opened the scoring in the contest at the 2:35 mark of the 1st period with Ben Brar getting the marker. Brar made his way down the left-wing side and cut to the net, sliding the puck through the legs of Smoke Eaters netminder Adam Marcoux for a 1-0 Spruce King advantage.

A former member of the Smoke Eaters found his way to the back of the net as Sean Donaldson gave the visitors a 2-0 lead at the 13:45 mark of the opening period. Donaldson worked his way into the left-wing face-off circle before ripping a shot past the glove side of Marcoux that helped Prince George to get ahead by a 2-0 score.

The Spruce Kings continued their strong first period of offence and worked their lead to three goals at the 17:04 mark of the frame off a deflection in front. Max Coyle took the original shot from the right point as it went to a fray of players at the front of the net with Ben Brar being credited with the tip at the top of the crease for his second goal of the night and a 3-0 Spruce Kings lead.

The Smoke Eaters began to chip away at the lead and eventually hit the scoreboard in the dying moments of the period as Kent Johnson scored a highlight reel-worthy tally. Tyler Ghirardosi bumped the puck ahead to Johnson on the left wing as he toe-dragged at the face-off dot and sniped a shot over the Spruce Kings netminder Logan Neaton to cut the lead to 3-1 with his 9th of the season with just 16 seconds left in the frame.

A relatively quiet 2nd period saw just one goal and it came for the home team as Bryce Anderson cut the Spruce Kings advantage to just one at the 4:53 mark of the middle stanza. Trevor Zins delayed in the slot and passed to Mack Byers in the right face-off circle, who flashed on his shot but got enough of the puck to push it to the left wing for Anderson as he tapped in his 2nd goal of the season and a 3-2 Spruce Kings lead.

The 3rd period was a listless one for the Smoke Eaters, never being able to get anything going offensively and had a big opportunity in the opening five minutes of the frame as they were handed a 5-on-3 power play for 1:12 but couldn’t generate much in the way of chances as the game remained at a 3-2 score.

Another power play presented the Smoke Eaters with a chance to work their way to a tie game but again, Trail would come up short on the man advantage before Ben Brar found the empty net at the 18:53 mark to put the game on ice and give the Spruce Kings a 4-2 lead.

Prince George added another goal and capped off the scoring with 8 seconds remaining in the game as the puck found its way to the right side of the goal on a goal mouth scramble with Chong Min Lee flipping the loose puck over the blocker side of Marcoux and giving the Spruce Kings a 5-2 victory.

Adam Marcoux stopped 21 of the 25 shots he faced in the game in his 7th loss of the season while Logan Neaton turned aside 13 of the 15 he faced in the game to backstop his way to his 8th win of the season.

FINAL SCORE: 5-2 Spruce Kings

SHOTS ON GOAL: 25-15 Spruce Kings




1) Ben Brar (3-0-3)

2) Kent Johnson (1-1-2)

3) Dylan Anhorn (0-2-2)

Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Mack Byers (0-0-0)

The Smoke Eaters (7-6-3-1) take to the road for their first trip to the Shuswap as they take on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (8-6-1-0) on Saturday night for a 7:00 PM face-off. The game will be broadcasted on mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as on HockeyTV.com with the pre-game show getting underway at 6:50 PM with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.